Ask the Dust by John Fante (1 Viewer)

i discovered fante through bukowski. there is an excellent introduiction by bukowski in this edition. bukowski says he was hanging around the library studing math, history geology etc. he couldnt really get into anything and was searching for that one writer who spoke from the heart. and he was glad that he finally found fante. i am finished with the first 75 pages. its a very good novel - so funny and sad. though i dont understand the weird relationship between bandini and lopez (the mexican waitress).
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
It's incredible, but Bukowski really did rescue Fante from utter obscurity. Fante went from being a forgotten minor novelist to a major world class author, all because Bukowski discovered him and urged Martin to reissue the books. And, of course, it only happened because Fante could write. Ask The Dust is a great book. The film adaptation falls short, but they usually do.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I agree that the film is not very good but the review is not bad at describing the relationship between Bandini and Lopez,
since bb 666 did'nt get it.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
My problem with the film is that they had a great story in the book and dumbed it down for no reason, resulting in a half-assed film. Not the first or last time that has happened.
 
I can't bring myself to watch the film. Colin Farrell is like the acting equivalent of Robbie Williams. Although I must confess to enjoying In Bruges.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I watched the film again, and I do have so good things to say about it. I liked the rythm, the narration, I liked Colin as a Bandini, the clothes, the setting as well. The actresses are too beautiful, as always. The dialogues were at times lame (most of the time). Not a great film, but still something, of a writer I adore. Great book of course!

Nice avatar, Bruno. Looks painful.
 
I read Ask the Dust, when I was working in Italy. It was great; the relationship between Bandini and Lopez, is one of the most beautiful, and intense, I have read of. I mean that. There were so many comparisons with Bukowski - the hotel dwelling, struggling wrtier, living with lots of odd characters, trying to pull through with his writing, living off intuition and a mad connecting will with the world. Fante was from Italy, I liked tha connection, I was working a pretty horrible teaching job in southern italy, some of the books eased the sheer nightmare of the city of Bari.
 
I finished ASK THE DUST. I liked it overall. It was pretty tragic.

Thank you, Black Swan. That makes some sense. Though I'm not sure I get it entirely.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
i watched the movie last weekend. it was pretty terrible. i wish robert towne (the director) had learnt something from polanski. he ought to have taken more time with the scenes rather than simply make it the modern way. salma hayek was terrible, though she looked great nude.
 
I discovered Fante totally through Buk, and I think Fante was a truly great writer. Films tend to suck, sorry to generalise, but that's what I think
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
On a similar note, I got a copy of The Brotherhood of the Grape in mass market from '78 and on the back, the description reads, "Lusty old Nick Molise- as zesty as Zorba, as ruthless in his ways as Don Corleone..."

Really? Really?
 
I discovered Fante totally through Buk, and I think Fante was a truly great writer. Films tend to suck, sorry to generalise, but that's what I think
Films generally have a very hard time living up to the books upon which they were based. They are forced to leave so much of the book out of the film that it often comes out feeling like a patchwork product. For example, as thick as the Harry Potter books were, a book sized version of either movie would be barely 200 pages. If that.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I find that even if a film gets the plot right, the writer\director\producer\whomever has to leave out major parts of the character(s). In some cases, this is probably OK, but in books where character is king... The translations to the screen bite.
 
Finally saw the movie. Ther is only one reason to watch it...ok...two reasons. I'm in love with Salma.

It was jerky and off puting. I agree that you can never expect a movie to live up to the book, but this is definitely a disgrace.
 
I just read this today and was really impressed. 2 questions: 1) Did Fante say in any letters/stories what happened to Camilla at the end? The ending is haunting. I can't help wondering what happened to her. (If the answer is in another novel then just direct me there rather than give a spoiler.) 2) $150 for a short story in 1939? Really? I knew that stories sold well then but I never that they paid that much. Is that a pretty accurate figure for the period? What Buk getting in the 40s and 50s?
 
I read a story in "Portions" where Buk asks Fante what ever happened to her and Fante replies, "She turned out be a damn lesbian!" (not sure if it's the exact quote)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top